NANDI, Kenya Sep 24 – Deputy President William Ruto has asked Opposition leader Raila Odinga to pull out of the repeat presidential elections set for October 26, if he was not interested, instead of causing anxiety and confusion among Kenyans.
Speaking at Kaptumo grounds in Nandi County on Sunday, the Deputy President said the Opposition leader was free to withdraw from the repeat polls and allow other Kenyans to participate in electing their president without being coerced or intimidated.
“Odinga has an option of pulling out of the presidential race in October 26, if he is not interested instead of causing confusion and anxiety among Kenyans,” Ruto said.
He said the Nasa leader was creating roadblocks to the election because he knows he will be defeated.
His scheme, he added, was to cause confusion and chaos with a view of precipitating the formation of a coalition Government.
Ruto told the Opposition that Kenyans will vote peacefully come the October 26 whether they participate or not.
“I want to tell Odinga that he has no capacity to stop Kenyans from participating in their democratic right of electing leaders of their choice,” said Ruto.
“If anyone believes in democracy, he should be prepared to respect the will of Kenyans in a free and democratic election,” added the Deputy President.
Others were Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, his Uasin-Gishu counterpart Jackson Mandago, MPs Wilson Kogo (Chesumei), Cornelly Serem (Aldai), Tecla Tum (Women Rep, Nandi), Samson Cherargei (Nandi) and Julius Melly (Tinderet).
Ruto said Opposition leaders were bent on inciting Kenyans to engage in violence and confusion with a view to causing bloodshed and loss of lives so as to create room for a coalition government.
“These guys tell us during the day that they are not interested in a coalition government while at night that’s their plan,” he said.
The leaders told Odinga to make good his threat to boycott elections, saying voters will simply confirm the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Sang said Odinga has no capacity to stop Kenyans from participating in their democratic right.
“Unless Odinga wants to carry out a coup, withdraw from the race or plan to cause violence, I don’t understand why he is telling us there will be no election,” said Sang.
“But we want to warn him that this is not the Kenya of 1982 where he carried out a failed coup in this country. This is a no nonsense Government under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta,” added Governor Sang.
Kogo said the Opposition leader tried violence to achieve his selfish ends but failed, saying the only option for him was to withdraw from the race or participate in the presidential repeat polls.
Mandago said the Opposition leader will not be allowed to bring the country to a standstill while pursuing his selfish agenda.
“Kenya is more important than Odinga. He should therefore stop inciting a section of Kenyans not to participate in the next elections. This man should know that Kenya will move on without his political participation,” said Mandago.
“We will be happy if our competitor does not participate in election because we will be unopposed winners,” added Mandago.
The MPs said they would push for the amendment of Elections Act to allow the manual system of voting be adopted.
“We will as a matter of urgency amend the Election laws to adopt the manual voting system, which is simple as votes will be counted easily,” said Kogo.
The leaders urged voters to turn out in large numbers and support the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Earlier, the Deputy President attended the Sunday sermon at the Kipsebwo Catholic Church in Nandi County, where he asked Christians to continue praying for peace especially during this electioneering period.
“As Christians we should continue praying for peace in our country. You should also pray for our leaders to know that Kenyans are supreme as far as issues of elections are concerned,” said Ruto.
Fr. Jonas Kiplimo who delivered the sermon urged Kenyans to embrace peace and brotherhood especially now that the country was headed to the repeat presidential polls.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett was also present.